Cebu News

New PRO-7 director to cops in drugs: Stop it, right now

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The new director of Police Regional Office-7 Chief Superintendent Noli Taliño has only one thing to say to police officials who are involved in illegal activities; stop it right now, otherwise the police will run after them.

Speaking to police officials and non-uniformed personnel of PRO-7, Taliño asked if there are police officers who are involved in illegal activities and said "you better stop it now."

"If you love your family stop it now, hahabulin ko kayo, hahabulin kayo ng mga pulis," he said.

He said this as he outlined his thrust as the new PRO-7 director, replacing Chief Superintendent Patrocinio Comendador Jr., who will be reassigned in Camp Crame at the Office of the Chief PNP. 

In his speech yesterday he said "I accept the challenge... this is an enormous job" referring to his post, and promised to deliver genuine change in line with the flagship program of the PNP Chief Rolando Dela Rosa and of President Rodrigo Duterte.

He said there are three things he will target to eradicate during his term; illegal drugs, crime, and corruption in the police service.

Stressing the need to accomplish all these things within three to six months Taliño said "we shall hit the running ground starting today."

On the campaign against illegal drugs the PNP has implemented "Oplan Double Barrel." Like a double-barreled shotgun, one will be aimed at high value targets while the other will be aimed at street pushers.

A weekly assessment of the Oplan Double Barrel will be done in relation to the accomplishments of the station chiefs, city and provincial directors if they have reached their self-imposed goal.

"In Oplan Double Barrel there will be a weekly assessment sa ating chief of police and PD (provincial director), kung hindi nami-meet I was given the full power to reshuffle. Sa PD or CD (city director) we will recommend their relief, kasi pag hindi nami-meet ako rin ang mananagot sa Chief PNP," he added.

Taliño said they also need the help of the community to help fight drugs.

"We need the cooperation of the community and the barangay officials... Dapat lahat ng nasa listahan nadadaan ng Operation Tokhang," he said.

Lastly, he also said they need the support of the media so that the projects and relevant information will be spread to the public. He also asked them to expose policemen involved in illegal activities.

"Sa media, kailangan namin ang inyong supporta para makarating ang aming proyekto, i-expose ang mga police na sangkot sa illegal drugs but let us be fair also," he said.

Talino is the former PNP Special Action Forces director.

No ill feelings

Meanwhile, Comendador said he does not have any ill feelings about his being relieved from office and added that with the assumption of the new leadership in the police it is to be expected.

"Kasagaran ang outgoing mobatbat sa accomplishments but sa akoa siguro it's the people of the region, Cebu Bohol and Siquijor who can tell better if they are better off with me around or without me," Comendador said after the assumption of Taliño.

He said he is also sad because there are things that he still wants to accomplish. 

"Actually gusto unta nako tiwason nag grupo ni (Jeffrey) Jaguar Diaz, naka-gain na ta'g momentum, mao nay usa nako nga unta tiwason nako ang tanan hangtod nga wala nay capability to launch criminal activity," he said.

However, he said he already talked to Taliño about the Jaguar group and ongoing "projects".

During his two months in office three high value targets were neutralized in anti-illegal drug operations. Rowen Seretaria, alias "Yawa", was killed in an encounter with the police in Banacon Island, Bohol, while David Anunciado was killed in an encounter with police in Inabanga town, also in Bohol, and Jaguar Diaz was also killed in an encounter in Las Piñas City.

Drug test

Immediately after his assumption, Taliño submitted himself to a drug test and tested negative on the spot as part of his program for internal cleansing of the ranks of PRO-7.

Taliño showed members of the media yesterday a testing kit showing three red lines that indicates a negative result.

An officer from the Regional Crime Laboratory Office 7 explained that a testing kit has three lines, one for control, one for marijuana use and one for shabu use.

The line for control will always turn red once the urine sample will be introduced to the kit but the other two lines will not show up if the person being tested is positive for those substances.

When asked if what will happen to policemen who will test positive he said they will undergo investigation but so far in the regional headquarters no one has tested positive.   

According to Senior Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas, more than 7,000 have been subjected to the same drug test in the region. However, one policeman in the Mandaue City Police Office tested positive and is now being subject to summary dismissal proceedings because aside from being tested positive he is also facing administrative charges for being absent without official leave.

Senior Superintendent Jonathan Agdamag Cabal, MCPO Director, declined to mention the name of the policeman but he said that after the May 23 drug test he no longer reported for duty.

"When we conducted that surprise drug test hindi na siya nagpakita, probably guilty na siya, at the same time nag-AWOL na siya at previously may AWOL cases na siya… Nag-AWOL na siya since he knows na nag-conduct kami ng surprise drug test since May 23," Cabal said.

 "I've been every lenient sa absences niya before, family problem financial problem, I took him in but to no avail, 'yun pala gumagamit pala ng illegal substance," he added.

Tomas sorry

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he is sorry to see Comendador go.

"I hope not, but it's affecting me because I put my heart into this and I thought that I'll be proud of what is happening now. We're losing our momentum, it's like a basketball team ba, you're in a winning team and ilisan nimo ang coach," he said.

He then added, "It doesn't make sense to me, maybe we could be better but I don't understand. We're winning already even more on what I expected."

Osmeña praised Comendador for his accomplishment against drugs and crime in general.

"They can accuse us of protecting and whatever you are but you look at the facts. The top drug lords of Cebu Province, Cebu City, Bohol and Negros were all neutralized," he added.

Comendador is being reassigned after the PNP underwent a nationwide reshuffling of police officials under Dela Rosa.

Last Friday, Osmeña sought an explanation from Dela Rosa, but has not received any reply as of yesterday.

"Yes I don't get any response that's why I'm apprehensive," he said.

Comendador assumed as PRO-7 director last April 4, replacing Chief Supt Manuel Gaerlan who also served in the same position for almost four months.

Unlike Osmeña, Governor Hilario Davide III welcomed Taliño, but also said he is sad to see Comendador go.

"It's sad na wala na siya (Comendador) but of course we welcome the new chief," he said, adding that he knew about it last week when Comendador texted him about the revamp. 

He said he replied "thank you" to him for all his valuable service. He said he had known Comendador since he was the Cebu City Police Office chief, describing him as a reliable and dependable police officer.

Davide said it is expected with the assumption of new administration, revamps are the prerogative of the present leaders.

With new PNP leader, Davide said he expects to continue the tough stance against illegal drugs pursuant to the orders of the new president.

Taliño paid a courtesy visit to Davide yesterday at his office. However, it was not their first meeting, he and the governor already met when Taliño visited the wake of two slain Cebuano policemen who were members of the SAF killed in the Mamsapano operation.  (FREEMAN)



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